When the sad news first came out about the deaths of 9 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan on July 13 U.S. troops died in Taliban attempt to storm base
I recalled that Michael Yon had predicted something like this attack on this outpost would happen.
I went back and found the two quotes of his that I recalled.....and, though he was off by a year in his original estimate, his words seem chillingly prescient now.
From an October 30,2006 article in The Weekly Standard, in his article Censoring Iraq
the pertinent quote by Yon is: (emphasis mine)
"Early this spring, when I reported from Afghan farms about this year’s bumper opium crop, people thought I was using that opium. Now it is common knowledge that the opium trade is fueling a Taliban comeback. Mark this on your calendar: Spring of 2007 will be a bloodbath in Afghanistan for NATO forces. Our British, Canadian, Australian, Dutch, and other allies will be slaughtered in Afghanistan if they dare step off base in the southern provinces, and nobody is screaming at the tops of their media-lungs about the impending disaster. I would not be surprised to see a NATO base overrun in Afghanistan in 2007 with all the soldiers killed or captured. And when it happens, how many will claim they had no idea it was so bad and blame the media for failing to raise the alarm? Here it is: WARNING! Troops in Afghanistan are facing slaughter in 2007!"
and here, in his 3 part series on a visit to Afghanistan in 2006
The Perfect Evil, Part I of III
Perfect Evil Part Two of Three
The Perfect Evil, Part III of III
is this quote:(again,emphasis my own)
"There is a widespread notion that Afghanistan is safer for our troops than Iraq, yet Coalition and NATO combat deaths in Afghanistan are per capita nearly identical to those in Iraq. In 2007, per capita combat deaths will–-in my opinion–-likely be significantly higher in Afghanistan than Iraq. Why? There are many reasons, but one of the most important is that after years of neglect and dawdling, our European allies are awakening to the reality that a monster really is under the bed. But this awareness is not keeping pace with the threat. Our European friends are still not providing their people with proper equipment, all while the Taliban is getting stronger from the billion-dollar narcotics backwash that floods enemy coffers. As in Iraq, troop numbers are also dangerously low in Afghanistan, where the handfuls of friendly forces additionally lack sufficient air power to stretch their security resources."
In searching for the quotes, I came across this post on The Captain's Journal:
Nine U.S. Soldiers Killed in Kunar, Afghanistan: What Can We Learn?
which seemed a well-reasoned summary of the possible lessons to be learned from this tragedy, to prevent a recurrence.
And then, I was appalled to come across this article in the Military Times
U.S. pulls out of attacked Afghan base
Barely have the families of the 9 fallen soldiers begun to mourn, when they find that the outpost their loved ones died fighting in has already been abandoned.
I close this post by remembering those 9 fallen heroes.
I have included a link with each soldier's name, for you to learn just a little bit about them individually.
From the DOD website:
The Department of Defense announced the death of nine soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died of wounds suffered when their outpost was attacked by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii.
Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.
Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Ga.
Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Wash.
Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tenn.
Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Ga.
Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C.
Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Mo.
Pfc. Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Ky.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends and their fellow soldiers.